The Continental Congress: George Washington elected commander in chief of all Colonial forces



The battle of Bunker Hill was quickly followed by decided action on the part of Congress, then in session at Philadelphia. An address was made to the king and people of Great Britain, and the world was advised of the reason of the appeal to arms. "We are reduced," said they, "to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery." An army of twenty thousand men was ordered to be enlisted, and George Washington was elected commander-in-chief of all the colonial forces.

Washington, who refused any compensation for his services, soon proceeded to Cambridge, where he undertook to organize the army there present. The task was a difficult one. The militia were undisciplined, and destitute of most of the requirements of an army. But by his energy and skill, and the assistance of General Gates, the men were reduced to discipline, stores collected, and a regular siege instituted.





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